Blockchain has won attention as a means to boost public trust during elections. The Indian Election Commission is considering a blockchain voting system and has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology to develop a blockchain voting system.
Mr Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner, believes that blockchain will improve voter turnout as more people from different regions choose to vote even when they are away from their hometowns of registration.
Aleksander Essex and Jeremy were the developers who identified the potential of blockchain in the validation of the voters. During the early stages of budding technology, when bitcoin was a meager $30; Clark and Essex used bitcoin as a form of carbon footprint in digital information that could make electronic voting secure and efficient.
Several startups have since followed up to build on the Blockchain electronic voting infrastructure. One such startup is FollowMyVote-a Virginia-based company. FollowMyVote is trying to break the idea that voting systems can’t go online. Especially in an era that has infiltrated democracies through the lure of election fraud and third party tampering.
When governments do not accept the concept of democratic voting systems, developed democracies would probably collapse. Blockchain voting platforms will ensure effective voter identification, registration and also streamline the process of counting and validating votes. At a time when almost all aspects of life are conducted online, technology will help bridge political functions.
In fact, blockchain researchers have successfully run acid tests on how to eliminate vulnerabilities in blockchain voting systems. However, several entities remain skeptical about the implementation of blockchain in voting. For example, the increasing trend of hackers exploiting blockchain applications provides further cause for concern.
Back in 2017, Homeland Security posited U.S. elections as the country’s core infrastructure. US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told media reporters how elections would qualify for state-funded cybersecurity assistance, federal transport systems, and federal protection.
The Department of Homeland Security reported more than 500,000 damaged voter records after the 2016 US election. A series of investigations led by Robert Mueller, a special counsel, indicted 26 Russian nations for allegedly hacking into voting systems. The investigation report highlighted the hackers target voting systems in at least 21 states.
Security researchers have just recently discovered attempts at phishing campaigns targeting three candidates in the 2018 midterm elections. Homeland Security Department claims that a lack of confidence would impact voter turnout. Say a scenario where you’d prefer to stay home and not vote, rather than participate in a rigged election or may lose their trust in the elections.
Blockchain voting remains one of the most explored blockchain use cases. However it isn’t clear why most tests for blockchain voting have been on a small scale. Especially targeting community projects and student organizations. Nonetheless, the largest blockchain voting system was tested in Moscow, Russia during a city council election. In fact, the end result was increased voter turnout with 90 percent of those registered to use the blockchain program.